Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
More Easy Candy Recipes
It's time for another Works for Me Wednesday. (Go here to see what works for other people - Kristen has a beautiful idea for a monogrammed ornament that doesn't look difficult to make.)
Last week I made Cranberry Clusters because I thought that that's what Michelle had requested. When she came home from school, I was informed that I misunderstood. She didn't want "clusters," she was looking forward to "bark." Well, even though it's quick and easy, I've been busy with other things and haven't made it yet. But I found a picture for you!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Here's where you can go if YOU want to waste some time - "days alive calculator"
Thursday, December 10, 2009
This year I thought I'd post the "David birth day" story. I looked in my journal, and the entry was way too long to put here, so here's the synopsis:
On December 6th, the "official" due date, I drove from Clearfield (where we had moved the week before) to Provo for a doctor's appointment. Nothing was happening, so I went home, and my sister Louise came with us. On Sunday after church we drove her back to Provo. Because I had been having mild contractions that whole day, I didn't feel like driving the 100 miles back, so we dropped Weston off at a friend's house and went to the hospital. They wouldn't admit me, so Wayne and I decided to hang out at Louise's apartment for a while. I took a nap and then watched some tv and we headed back to the hospital after my water broke at 2 AM. David was born at 4:03 AM, weighed 8 pounds 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. Unfortunately he had a high white blood cell count, so I went home a couple of days later without him. Fortunately, by that Friday everything was normal and we were able to start our new life with two little boys, and a brand new job as well. To see more birthday pictures, go to last year's post. But here's one taken when David was a few months old, and his dad was 25 years old. Is there any resemblance?
Thanks for being a wonderful part of our family for the past 25 years!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Rolo Pretzels are our newest candy tradition. Arrange "waffle" (regular mini ones work as well) pretzels on a baking sheet and place an unwrapped Rolo on top. Bake at 300° for 4 minutes, then press a pecan half on top.
Please don't misread the directions and bake them at 400° for 3 minutes! Otherwisethe caramel will seep all over. Or the chocolate will burn. Yes, this is a Kiss and not a Rolo, but the beauty of this recipe is its adaptability.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Most of our family nights in December are centered around Christmas traditions. Last week it was Michelle's turn for the lesson. She shared President Kimball's quote on the importance of remembering, and then announced that we would set up the tree to help us remember the Savior all month long. So we did, and we had a great time. The past few years I've set up and decorated the tree by myself, and I decided that it's a lot more fun working together!
"When you look in the dictionary for the most important word, do you know what it is? It could be remember. Because all of you have made covenants - you know what to do and you know how to do it - our greatest need is to remember. That is why everyone goes to sacrament meeting every Sabbath day - to take the sacrament and listen to the priests pray that 'they may always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them.' Remember is the word. Remember is the program." (Spencer W. Kimball, 1968)
Yesterday I found this quote by Elder Nelson. Not only is "remember" the most important word in the dictionary, it's the main responsibility of my life's mission. (I figure I have to remember before I can be repentant and righteous.)
"Jesus' responsibility as Advocate, Savior, and Redeemer was foredetermined in premortal realms and fulfilled by His Atonement. Our responsibility is to remember, to repent, and to be righteous." (Russell M. Nelson, 2000)
Have fun remembering this Christmas season!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
This morning as I put oranges in the lunch sacks, I was reminded of one of our "not to be missed" Christmas traditions which is to wake up on Christmas morning and find an orange in the toe of every stocking. Since I figured that might be a common tradition, I thought I'd share something I learned from my mom years ago on a different way to cut oranges. (And that reminds me that when the kids were little their favorite way was as "wheels" - just make a bunch of 3/8" horizontal slices. That seemed to work better than the 1/4 wedges that I grew up. And, of course, there's the traditional way of just peeling it, and I've even heard of sticking a straw through the rind and drinking the orange!)
But, to get back on topic. Here's a way to cut an orange that eliminates all the rind and membrane, so that it looks all pretty in an ambrosia salad. You start by using a serrated knife to cut away the peel, getting all the way to the juicy segments.Then you cut each segment away from the membrane.And eventually you have a pretty bowl of fruit.If you want more step-by-step pictures, go here. And if you want to see others' ideas, go here.
Have a wonderful December!
Once again I finally crossed something off the list that wasn't really *my* chore, but I've been nagging about it for over a year, and now I can stop that!
The summer of 2008, Steven decided that he'd wash all the windows as his Family Life Service Project (one of the merit badge requirements). We had a busy summer, and then another busy summer. However, he really wanted to be able to play video games over the Thanksgiving break, and he'd already done all the easy things on his Scouting to-do list, so out came the bucket and sponge. He did a good job, and was able to thoroughly enjoy his game time. I was questioning my sanity over allowing this (because it did require some adult direction and supervision) in between shopping and errands and laundry and packing, but we survived, and now we have shiny windows. Thank you, Steven!
Remember what happens when you procrastinate? (Go here for the whole story.) Well, this year I was determined that processing the Halloween pumpkin would NOT be an unfinished task, and took care of that early in November!
The pretty pumpkin - we never did get around to turning it into a jack-o-lantern - turned into yummy pumpkin pureé. (And thanks goes to Brad for helping with the food processor while I was busy with Relief Society stuff.)
And finally, I made progress on some "crafting". Maybe this "to-do" is stretching it as to actually accomplishing something, but I'm hoping by documenting it I'll continue to make progress. In November I looked through the closets and made a list of all the unfinished craft projects. Since the majority of them relate to Christmas, I'm hoping for a two-for-one deal for December: finish some and cross them off the list AND feel the Christmas spirit! Come back in a month to see if the plan works!
Here's the list. Which should I do first?
- frame Wayne's cross-stitch
- finish granny square blanket using old yarn
- use up green fleece scraps
- do something with empty 6x6" scrapbook
- do something with empty 8x11" scrapbook
- 5 tree ornaments to paint
- 5 Noel/Family knick-knacks to paint
- 4 wood nativity sets to paint
- 6 ceramic ornaments to paint
- wood Christmas puzzle to paint
- "stacked box snowman" to paint
- complete "Welcome" vinyl frame
- do final touches on Relief Society wall-hangings
Oh, and after months and months and months of procrastinating, I finally got my hair cut and bought new glasses. But you don't need any pictures because I still look the same. I'm not very adventurous when it comes to changing my style :)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into our evolving family traditions and that you're all having a happy day wherever you may be! Happy Thanksgiving!!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Our first Thanksgiving in our first house. No pictures of the actual dinner, or the newly-reupholstered dining room chairs, but we got 8 inches of snow that weekend and the boys had fun!
1993 Another snowy Thanksgiving weekend! This time Uncle Richard joined the Whitaker relatives. (I'm trying to decide if I like the "overlay" photo option. They seem to be a little busy, and are probably meant for people over scenery. What do you think?
1996When we moved to California, our trips to Seattle had to end. After a couple of years of getting together with friends, it was great to have a Beckstrand reunion for Thanksgiving. This year instead of playing in the snow, the cousins played in the hot tub and at the park. And don't forget the video games either!
2003 Once we moved to Florida, Thanksgiving includes trips to the beach. This year the East Coast Whitakers drove south for the holiday.
2005 And the next time we stayed home, it was the Beckstrand family's turn to visit. We also went to the beach and played in the pool this year, but by this time we had a digital camera, and there were WAY too many photos of the holiday vacation to post here. At least there are also finally pictures of the table and turkey.
It sure will be interesting to see what the future brings. Maybe we'll get some more Thanksgiving dinners at home with lots of friends and relatives. Give us a little warning, and we'd love to have you over for turkey and stuffing!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
First stop - Thanksgiving in Seattle:
We spent Thanksgiving with Grandma and Grandpa, but also visited some friends. The boys enjoyed playing in their tree house.
1990The number of kids on the couch is growing! We also enjoyed a visit to the Children's Museum, in spite of the wet, rainy weather.